Ojo: The "Cholo Word Of The Day" is simply for fun. This is not an academic exercise, therefore I do not spend much time checking for espelling or grammatical errors. Most of the words are not only used by "cholos," but by many people in S. Texas - and their usage can vary. c/s

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Raza Payment Plan

I'll be eating chorizo for the next week. My brother's client gave it as a gift yesterday. This isn't the first time. The other day he got bananas and he's received bottles of liquor, pan dulce, cookies, gift baskets with fruit and candy, and a bunch of other stuff.

Getting gifts isn't new. It's been like this all my life. People would take my dad oranges or onions for doing something for them (oranges and onions grow in the valley). I've also seen people receive crazy things like parrots, little chicks or even furniture they made, but that's more rare.

I think we give food because that's what we have. That's what most people have and need. I wonder if it ties in to our need to make sure all people are fed? I always make fun of people taking home "el platillo" from a party, but there's probably a very practical reason as to why we do it without thinking twice.

And yes, sometimes we use products and services as payment instead of cash - because that's the only thing we have. I remember coming home to find all kinds of fish in our freezer one day. A man who owed my dad money went fishing, caught a bunch of fish, and brought them to my family. The debt was paid. My cousin has a new patio because some dudes owed him cash.

Paying with services even extends to municipalities in South Texas. My mom got a ticket for no insurance or something once and couldn't pay the fine. She talked to the judge and offered to work cleaning the court's office for a couple of days. The judge said, ok. It worked.


Blogger JaeZea said...

When I was twelve, my dad was given a parrot for manning the taco bar at a distant cousins wedding. I am almost at the end of my twenties and that damn bird is still alive. As a matter of fact, he is my dad's "mijo". He yells out "pop-pop", and my dad thinks it's hilarious. My dad is one of those people that to this day accepts random forms of payment. As of late I have recieved more limes, and "costales de naranjas" than I personally know what to do with. Were I gringa, this may not play out so well. Being of the raza persuasion, I wouldn't have things any other way!

3:56 PM

Blogger mariposatomica said...

Bartering is always good when times are tough. Do you think if I shipped a box full of chorizo to sallie mae that they will throw out my student loans?

7:38 PM

Blogger cindylu said...

Interesting. My dad used to get gifts from his customers, but it was only at Christmastime and it was always weird shtuff like cheese, sausage and crackers. White people are weird...

11:54 PM

Blogger Aleksu said...

My dad used to keep a shelf in his house in Acapulco with all the "unique" presents given to him as a show of gratitude, these people would give him all kinds of tobacco related items. My dad quit smoking when I was born.

One day someone gave him a guitar, an instrument that he did not know how to play.

That one is still hanging from a wall.

8:14 AM

Blogger oso said...

Dude, I've been eating huevos con chorizo every morning this week. Gives me the gas.

7:23 PM

Anonymous la guera said...

Bartering is what kept our business afloat and food on the table during some pretty lean times--nearly 20 years ago. I can't say for certain that I'm not weird, but bartering has always made sense to me.

8:41 AM

Blogger Gustavo said...

I had an uncle that used to sell cars on the side and since he didn't have a seller's license they wouldn't let him go into the car auctions. Finally, he started taking boxes of grapes and bags of oranges and what do you know...he would bribe security with naranjas and uvas.

2:46 PM


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